New visa programs spark brain drain fears across Africa

When Edmund Ekott, a Nigerian front-end developer, decided to relocate to Germany in 2022, he had to deal with an exasperating immigration process. He went through a prolonged back-and-forth with the officials, providing evidence for years of work, collating references, and submitting copious amounts of documents before his visa was finally approved. If he had decided to make the move a year later, things might have been simpler.

On June 23, in an attempt to make Germany more attractive to skilled workers, the country’s parliament passed a law that would reduce the bureaucracy around the immigration process. Germany will now issue “opportunity cards” to immigrants who don’t have jobs, allowing them to come and stay in the country for a year to find employment. This new policy is reported to be effective from March 2024. Ekott said that he’s not sure if the new policies will make the process faster, but he thinks it might make it easier.

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